Trump-appointed Judge Timothy Kelly of the DC District Court issued a decision late Sunday night to allow the House select committee to gain access to the Republican National Committee’s marketing email data leading up to January 6, 2021, according to CNN.
The RNC filed a lawsuit on March 9 after the committee filed a subpoena for the marketing cloud platform Salesforce to turn over documents about email fundraising campaigns and analyses. Their suit alleged the organization’s First and Fourth Amendment rights would be violated, and there would be a potential for Republican party secrets to get revealed to rivals. Judge Kelly pushed back on this notion in a 53-page opinion.
“The RNC argues that the Select Committee lacks the proper authorization to wield investigative power on behalf of the House ... But for a few reasons, especially given the House’s own reading of the authorizing resolution, the Court cannot agree,” Kelly wrote.
“Nothing suggests that the Select Committee is demanding, or that Salesforce is preparing to produce, internal RNC memoranda laying out its digital strategy,” Kelly ruled. “Obviously, information that shows which email campaigns attracted more attention, and which attracted less, has some strategic value. But on the record here, whatever competitive harm may come to the RNC from disclosure of the actual material at issue is too ‘logically attenuated’ and ‘speculative’ to defeat the Select Committee’s weighty interest.”
Kelly also noted that the House committee has a legitimate purpose in its inquiry. Lawmakers on the committee were immune from a lawsuit under the speech and debate clause–thus, the Fourth Amendment wouldn’t be obstructed. The Jan. 6th committee wants to learn who worked on the email campaigns, how successful they were, and how Salesforce analyzed January 5 and 6 data and communicated with GOP officials, court documents note.
However, Kelly is temporarily blocking the data from being turned over to the House until at least May 5, so the RNC has a chance to appeal.